September 24, 2014 // Franchising.com // New York, NY – Calexico, the New York-based Mexican food favorite, has signed a major master franchise deal for the UAE and Bahrain. The brand has been expanding through a combination of company and franchise owned stores in the U.S., and will now follow in the footsteps of other high profile fast casual concepts that have found success in the Middle East markets.
Calexico currently has 3 brick-and-mortar stores open in Brooklyn, 3 NYC-area street carts, a vendor unit in the state-of-the-art Barclays Center, and a new franchised store open on the Lower East Side of Manhattan; as well as multi-unit development deals signed for Manhattan, Philadelphia, Chicago and Queens/Long Island.
The new partners, who worked with Fransmart Senior Director of Development Ryan Durishin on the agreement, has signed on to be the Area Developer for both the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, and has committed to open at least 15 stores in the territories.
Calexico began as a simple street cart, but grew into a local phenomenon after winning the coveted Vendy Award in 2008. This was followed by an appearance on The Martha Stewart Show's I Love NY TV special, and then being named Zagat's Top Mexican Restaurant in New York City. The brand continues to open more locations to serve its growing customer base, and will continue expanding into select U.S. and international markets.
Calexico is working with Fransmart, the development company behind the explosive growth of brands such as Five Guys Burgers and Fries and Qdoba Mexican Grill, to expand on its footprint across the United States.
Calexico started out as a street cart in New York City in 2006. Founded by three brothers from the border town of Calexico, California, the cart quickly developed a cult following by serving fresh, intensely flavorful food that combines the tastes of Mexico with elements of American barbecue.
What began as a street cart has now grown into a variety of formats, including a fast casual restaurant, full service restaurants with full bars, and multiple concession units inside Brooklyn's state-of-the-art Barclays Center Arena.
Despite the rapid growth of the business, Calexico's mission remains simple: to serve delicious, reasonably-priced food inspired by the town that gave the brand its name.